Posted on: 10th August 2015

In August 2015, Llion Marc Evans started his work as a EUROfusion Fellow. This profile gives an insight into his motivations and hopes for fusion research.

Armed with a Masters in Science degree in Aeronautics, Llion Marc Evans was on track for a career in the fast-paced world of Formula 1. Then he made a pit-stop, paid closer heed to stories on sustainable energy and fusion power, changed tracks and drove straight into the world of fusion research.

This was back in 2008 when Evans was considering his options for a PhD and reports about climate change kept taking his interest. “Around the same time I watched a BBC Horizon episode on fusion energy which convinced me that research in fusion would be exciting and I could contribute towards fighting climate change,” he says.

Evans at the CCFE in the JET practice chamber. Photographer Haydn Denman.

Evans at the CCFE in the JET practice chamber. Photographer Haydn Denman.

In November 2014, Evans was awarded the EUROfusion Researcher Grant, and in August 2015 he began working as the EUROfusion Fellow at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy. Currently, he is working on a method to convert 3D X-ray images of DEMO components into high resolution computer models. “The benefit of this is by creating a ‘digital twin’ you model real parts instead of idealised designs. And, achieving better accuracy in modelling helps the design process and improves prediction of power plant performance,” he explains.

The blurred lines between physics, engineering, and material science, and foundations in experimental, computational and theoretical fields are what make fusion research exciting for Evans. Other than many cups of coffee, nothing in the day of a fusion researcher is typical. “One day, I might be using a facility such as the neutron source ISIS, another day it might be one of the world’s most powerful computers like ARCHER or I may be sitting in the library reading journal papers,” says Evans.

But ultimately, it is the potential that fusion research has to bring about a positive change at a global scale which is most appealing to Evans. “My hope is that I’ll see the first fusion power plant put electricity onto the grid before I retire and that I’ll have played a part in that moment.”

Background about the EUROfusion Researcher Fellowships

EUROfusion Researcher Fellowships, which are part of EUROfusion’s training and education initiatives, are designed to nurture the next generation of fusion experts. And, each year approximately 30 engineers and scientists are selected for receiving the grants through the EUROfusion Researcher Grants and the EUROfusion Engineering Grants programmes..